Should My Next Appointment be In-Person or Telemedicine?

It has almost been a year since Kidney Specialists of Central Oklahoma began offering telemedicine as an option for seeing your doctor. For those unfamiliar with the term, telemedicine is the process of seeing your doctor through a video call either on your phone or on your computer instead of in-person. Most of our patients are probably familiar with this method as, having offered it for almost a year now, we have seen thousands of patients through telemedicine.

Our Practice began offering the option of telemedicine to protect our patients from infection with COVID-19 by making it possible to see your doctor without having to visit the office in person. A good number of our patients have begun to see the benefits of telemedicine when it comes to being able to see your doctor without having to leave home or work to do so. If you are one of those patients who have gotten used to seeing your doctor online, changes are on the horizon which may impact how and where your next appointment will take place.

Throughout 2020, insurance companies were willing to pay for telemedicine visits in full and some were even waiving co-payments to make this option even more appealing. However, beginning in 2021 copayments are no longer being waived for most insurance companies. Furthermore, Medicare is has stated that they will fully reimburse telemedicine visits until the end of the National Health Crisis; which is scheduled to elapse in mid-April. While this date has been pushed back several times over the past year, the introduction of a vaccine may indicate that telemedicine reimbursement could be coming to an end for your insurance company.

Starting in April, all providers at Kidney Specialists of Central Oklahoma will be back to seeing patients in the office on a full-time basis. However, we will still be offering telemedicine for patients whose insurance is still able to reimburse for the visit. If you have specific questions as to what your insurance provider will pay for at your telemedicine visit, we encourage you to reach out to them as they will be able to provide you with answers. As always, we are here to help; so if you need any further information about your appointments please give our office a call at 405-942-5442.

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